In the Moment

The Implementation Dilemma

Mark Kuznicki

We had the opportunity to listen to a great talk at the Service Design Global Conference 2015 in New York. It has stuck with us ever since as a key way of putting design thinking and innovation into practice with a focus on execution. It has inspired how we help our clients setup their projects and teams for success.

In the process of building innovation capacity organizations tend to underestimate their ability to generate new ideas, and overestimate their ability to implement their ideas.

In their presentation, Dr. Munib Karavdic and Jon Campbell discuss three approaches to innovation that present distinct challenges and opportunities:

In the first example, “Incremental Change“, organizations cautiously move the needle very slightly, but don’t deliver much value to customers.

The third example of “Cold Fusion” often presents itself as exciting and aspirational innovation, but is too much, too soon for an organization embarking on its innovation journey. These projects are frequently hamstrung by organizational constraints such as processes , procedures, and risk mitigation.

The final example is “The Scary Zone” which is where the innovation “sweet spot” exists. This is where organizations are most likely to discover significant opportunities to create value for their customers and business. It also requires a determination to change how an organization functions, considers the evolution of its products and services, and adopt a customer focus.

Successful companies will be those that can effectively evaluate ideas, select the right ones, and get them to market faster than the competition.

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